16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Image Credit: unwomen.org

While Family Violence and Gender-Based Violence have been around for thousands of years – the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the reality for all of us:  patients, families, survivors/victims, perpetrators of violence, and especially for the healthcare personnel. Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crisis, the numbers rise. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some form of violence and are more likely to face food insecurity. Family violence has massive physical and mental health impacts. As health care professionals in the frontline, we have a crucial role to play in facing this shadow pandemic, offering proper care to survivors and their families. As leaders in our communities, we must also play a role in preventing further violence!

The United Nations declared 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (November 25th- December 10th): “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”. Orange symbolizes a brighter future free of violence. This year marks the 30th anniversary of inspiring people around the world to move from 16 days of activism to 365 days of action to end gender-based violence.

The Special Interest Group on Family Violence and its members collaborate in training, research, authoring guidelines, training materials and other resources for health care teams and patients. We are endorsing these campaigns and calling all WONCA members, National Colleges, WONCA networks, working parties and special interest groups to join us in raising awareness, increasing health staff capacity to respond and other actions to end family and gender-based violence.


Hagit Dascal-Weichhendler

Nena Kopcavar Gucek

Raquel Gomez Bravo  (Co-Chair Elect)

WONCA SIGFV Resources:


WONCA SIGFV WEBINAR 2020 #4: Dealing with Family Violence during COVID-19

WONCA Europe Conference SIGFV Keynote speech (Berlin): Visions on Family Violence Care

Find more information about the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence here.